Can Conditional Transfers Reduce Crop Residue Burning and Improve Child Health?
Agricultural practices that increase farmers’ productivity are sometimes accompanied by negative environmental externalities, with consequences for human health. One example is the rise in crop residue burning after mechanized harvesting was adopted in many parts of India, particularly Punjab. This evaluation will assess the effectiveness of cash transfers in reducing crop burning and, thereby, improving air quality and child health. The researchers will roll out and assess a program that offers cash transfers to farmers that are conditional on not using stubble burning to clear fields. They will also test whether information provision to farmers on how to access alternative crop residue management (CRM) technologies for field clearance (e.g., Happy Seeders) affects crop burning and child health, and whether the impact of cash transfers is higher with relevant information provision.